ABA nominates first woman of color president

 Paulette Brown, a labor and employment law partner and chief diversity officer with the Morristown, N.J., office of Edwards Wildman Palmer, was nominated Monday as the American Bar Association’s president-elect for 2014-15. If elected by the ABA House of Delegates in August, she will become, in August 2015, the first woman of color and third African-American to serve as ABA president.

As a candidate for the president-elect position, Brown said the ABA should prepare itself to be more inclusive. “Just as the U.S. Constitution has been amended to safeguard our liberties, the ABA must continue to respect and include lawyers in all practice areas and types, from solo practitioners to members of our largest international law firms, as well as public servants and in-house counsel,” she said.
Brown has held many positions throughout her career, including as in-house counsel to a number of Fortune 500 companies and as a municipal court judge. In private practice, she has focused on all facets of labor and employment and commercial litigation.
Brown has been recognized by the New Jersey Law Journal as one of the prominent women and minority attorneys in the state of New Jersey and by the National Law Journal as one of “The 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America.” She has been listed as a NJ Super Lawyer since its inception and for the past three years as one of the top 50 women lawyers and one of the top 100 lawyers.
Brown has repeatedly been named by U.S. News as one of the Best Lawyers in America in the area of commercial litigation. In 2011, she was honored with the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award by the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession.
Brown earned her J.D. at Seton Hall University School of Law and her B.A. at Howard University.
Also nominated today at the ABA Midyear Meeting in Chicago was Patricia Lee Refo, a partner with the Phoenix office of Snell & Wilmer, as chair of the ABA House of Delegates for a two-year term starting in August 2014.


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